I reasoned that he might walk out of it. I got on anyway and asked him to just keep it slow and easy at the walk. Given how dramatic his meltdown had been over the bridling process, I figured that a quiet walk was probably just what he needed. After twenty minutes, he was no sounder, but not worse either, so I called it quits.
There was no swelling nor a wound, and he was bearing weight on it, so I turned him out in his paddock and hoped for the best. I watched him for a while as I puttered around, but the lameness got worse by the minute. By the time I left for home, I knew it had to be an abscess.
I gave him a gram of bute for several days, which he refused to eat, but other than poke around with a hoof pick, I just let it be. The next day, he actually looked better. He was bearing more weight on it, and by Wednesday, I started to think the abscess had absorbed or that it had been a cramp afterall.
On Thursday, I found the telltale drainage hole. It must have just blown before I got there because it was still oozing. I gave it a gentle squeeze and was rewarded with clear seepage that was odor free. Again, I left it alone without washing it or soaking it.
We had record rainfall last weekend which turned parts of Izzy's paddock into a soupy mess. He had high ground to stand on, but the mud no doubt softened his feet allowing a grain of something to work its way in. For me, having the abscess blow out through the heel bulb is the perfect scenario. Those heal almost as soon as they pop.
It's raining again right now with a forecast for continued rain through Saturday, but we had really warm and dry weather this week which eliminated nearly all of the mud. Hopefully the hole closed yesterday afternoon, but I am defintiely going to give it another close examination today.
If my horse is going to be lame, an abscess is just about the best case scenario!